Reading Rainbow Episode On Mummies Was Partially Filmed In Kalamazoo
Recently, LeVar Burton made headlines in Southwest Michigan for some not-so-great reasons. It seemed curious as to why they wanted to name a library after a man who had never been to Kalamazoo.
But, it turns out, Burton actually does have ties to KZoo. An episode of his popular series Reading Rainbow was partially filmed here for an episode that aired in 1989. (Watch The Episode at the Bottom of this article.)
Burton was featuring books about about Ancient Egypt and mummies. He didn't visit Kalamazoo himself, but a portion of the episode (about 12 minutes in) was filmed in Kalamazoo, showing how mummies are handled.
"This mummy has a doctor's appointment. The mummy's head was unwrapped before it was donated to the Kalamazoo Public Museum, and now the curator wants to find out more about the Mummy."
Recorded in 1988, the segment follows the trip to Bronson Methodist Hospital, where it was X-Rayed, and given a CT scan for the first time. They determined in the episode that it was a female mummy that had likely given birth.
The CT scan also allowed a forensic scientist to recreate the mummy's face for the first time.
That mummy can still be seen on display today at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum in their "Mystery of the Mummy" exhibit.
Initially, this mummy was donated to the museum in 1928 by a private collector, who had already unwrapped the head. The mummy had been X-rayed several times, but the Reading Rainbow episode showed the first time it had ever given a clear look into the full skeletal structure of the mummy.
Another fun SW Michigan tie-in to Reading Rainbow: At the time of this episode's airing, the show was presented on Public Broadcasting thanks in part to a Grant from Kellogg's.